What Went Wrong With Conservatism
One thing that's missing in the Republican campaign rhetoric this time around is conservatism as a platform. Oh sure, the chest-inflating anti-terror stuff is there, but even that seems phony. Could you imagine Barry Goldwater in his prime acting like President Bush did at the United Nations yesterday? Could you imagine the man who confronted President Nixon and told him to get out, ducking around the halls of the UN to keep from meeting the President of Iran? Goldwater would have been there when the Iranian leader's plane landed and started debating him right on the tarmac. Do you realize the election bonanza if President Bush had cornered the Iranian leader in some hallway and spoke his mind? You know it wouldn't have taken long.
The difference is that Goldwater was a true conservative, and a real man. Guys like Cheney and Bush love talking tough in the Rose Garden but they don't want to confront anything. Oh, Cheney will shoot at quail but he can't even pull that off. And President Bush is glad to talk manly about wanting the bad guys dead or alive, as long as he's sending your kid to die trying to do it. Just let him know how it went when he gets back from his bicycle ride.
The conservative movement has been hijacked by phonies. The idea of a smaller government that gets off your back? President Bush would be met with laughter if he tried to pull that one out. How about the tried and true talk of fiscal responsibility? After decades of complaining about Democrats spending in Congress this group has gone completely crazy. Corruption is rampant and spending is out of control. Special interests are in charge. Raytheon wanted a contract to defend against RPGs, along with several years to develop it - even though a system exists today that could be saving American soldiers as we speak. Guess what? This Republican Congress protected the interests of the corporation over our soldiers. Even as cynical as I've become, that one is still shocking. I wonder if they'll bring up how much they support the troops this time around?
Where Goldwater's ideas met their defeat was when the Republicans turned their party into a Christian fundamentalist organization. Instead of getting government out of our lives, they want to run the whole show. This party gets its power from the religious movement in this country. So you have a bunch of immoral phonies at the top hijacking America's future and using the power of religion for political control. This form of government has never worked all that well, and it's not working well now. The world is full of places like this. Theocracies are anti-freedom. In fact, one of the reasons America was founded was to get away from this kind of stifling religious power grab. Not only is that not getting government off our backs, it's trying to put government in charge of our souls. No wonder these people don't bring up real conservatism anymore.